Return to Hockey Safety Plan
for ARHA House League

Last updated Nov. 15, 2021



The information in this document is not intended or implied to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is provided for general informational purposes only. The knowledge and circumstances around COVID-19 are changing constantly and, as such, the Avenue Road Hockey Association (ARHA) makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this information. Further, participants should seek advice from medical professionals and/or public health officials if they have specific questions about return to training and competition.

The information included in this document is current to the time of publishing and is based on the Greater Toronto Hockey League's (GTHL) Return to Hockey standards. We have also attempted to align this document with the Public Health Guidelines of the Government of Ontario and the Public Health Unit of the City of Toronto, as well as Hockey Canada's Return to Hockey Safety Guidelines and the Ontario Hockey Federation's Return to Hockey Framework. However, recommendations may change depending on local, provincial and national circumstances; local resources should also be consulted for up-to-date information. Where anything within this document conflicts (i.e.: is less restrictive) with Public Health requirements, including regulations, the league must comply with Public Health requirements and adapt as required.

Return to hockey is not without risks, including potential exposure to COVID-19. While the ARHA has made and is making all reasonable efforts to minimize the risk of exposure to the disease through the development and implementation of this plan and the GTHL's Return to Hockey Strategy with guidance from health authorities, the ARHA does not and cannot guarantee that there will be no risk of exposure and transmission to those who participate in on or off-ice activities

As circumstances require, e.g.: changes in government regulations or Public Health requirements, this document will be amended accordingly, and the revisions posted in a timely manner.

Should guidelines provided by public health authorities, Hockey Canada, the Ontario Hockey Federation or the GTHL be ignored, or circumvented, such actions could result in potential reinstitution of suspended hockey activities, or other penalties could result along with governmental consequences determined by local authorities.

General Provisions

(1) All people 12 and older must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to even enter the arena. This covers players and any volunteers and spectators (although spectators should be kept to a minimum). The City of Toronto will have screeners at the door, and no one 12 and older can get in without showing proof of vaccination and photo ID. We recommend that you arrive at the rink early because there may be a queue to get in. We also recommend that players come as dressed as possible (especially for players under 12); the dressing rooms will be available for putting on skates, but due to social distancing requirements inside the arena, we should all be minimizing the crowding that can happen in those rooms.

(2) There are provisions for medical exemptions, but those must be requested from the GTHL, not our league. To date, we understand that the rate of exemptions across the entire GTA hockey system is less than half of one percent of those requested.

(3) Properly worn masks (covering nose and mouth) are 100% required for EVERYONE regardless of age inside the arena at all times and in every location, except for players on the ice. Volunteers serving as coaches are expected to be wearing masks while on the bench. If you feel that you cannot meet this masking obligation, then please don't come to the arena; masks are about each of us not spreading covid to others (even unintentionally).

(4) As stated above, spectators need to remain socially distanced. The small heated vestibule will be used primarily by City staff for screening, so if you intend on coming to watch, please dress warmly and use the stands on the far side.

(5) Food and eating are not allowed in the arena this season, other than water bottles, so if you have snacks for your child, keep them in the car. While there is a bottle filling station at the rink, we do not know if it is in service because of covid, so please consider filling water bottles at home.

(6) As you know, our divisions are essentially cohorts based on grades/year of birth. This allows us to put some guardrails around possible exposure. However, we will be fully guided by whatever Public Health, the Province, the City and our governing bodies require of us, at all times during the season. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with whatever requirements come our way during the season.

(7) As a reminder, full, certified, equipment is required, especially helmets and cages. Mouth guards are no longer required by the GTHL. If you choose to use them, we recommend that you purchase two and keep an extra one in your child's hockey bag as a backup. You may also want to invest in a small sharpening stone which can be bought from most sporting goods stores. This will allow you to keep your child's skates sharpened longer, removing little nicks from time to time.

Health Screening

Through TeamSnap, we expect parents to confirm attendance before their child plays in a game, each week. If you check off that your child is playing, then you are agreeing to the following statements:

    1. In the last 10 days, my child has NOT tested positive on a covid-19 test.
    2. My child does NOT have fever or chills
    3. My child does NOT have a cough
    4. My child does NOT have trouble breathing
    5. My child does NOT have a decrease or loss of taste or smell
    6. My child does NOT have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    7. No-one else in our household has any one or more of the above symptoms and/or are waiting for covid-19 test results after experiencing symptoms.
    8. In the last 10 days, I have NOT been notified that my child has had close contact with someone with covid-19 or that has been told to self-isolate (answer "yes" if your child is fully vaccinated)
    9. In the last 10 days, NO ONE ELSE your child lives with has been identified as a close contact of someone with covid-19 and told to self-isolate (answer "yes" if your child is fully vaccinated).Regulations related to travel have recently changed. For clarity on the travel rules - if your child is unvaccinated, they cannot enter the arena for 14 days after returning from outside Canada, even if they are symptom-free or have tested negative. The next three questions relate to travel outside of Canada:
    10. My UNVACCINATED child has NOT travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
    11. My fully vaccinated child travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days but does NOT need to quarantine under public health requirements (for example, they didn't come from a red-listed country even if they are vaccinated)
    12. My UNVACCINATED child is NOT living with someone else who returned to Canada in the last 14 days who has to quarantine (for example, another unvaccinated individual who came back from abroad lives in the home, or a vaccinated person who came from a red-listed country lives in the home).

If you CANNOT affirm ANY of the above statements then your child CANNOT play hockey until all the above questions can be fully affirmed.

(Please note that for those who use TeamSnap's Mobile App, you have the option to complete the in-app Health Screening)

Reporting Procedures

If ARHA is informed of a potential case of Covid-19 at one of our games, we will be reporting to Toronto Public Health (TPH). We will then take direction from TPH on next actions. If TPH determines that we must contact families about the exposure, we will do so via TeamSnap. If TPH requests contact information, we will comply (this can include your child's name, age, your phone number and your email). This also applies to any adults who volunteer with the league (e.g., coaches) that may be impacted by an exposure.

It is a criminal offense to ignore these requests from TPH, so we appreciate everyone's cooperation should an exposure incident occur.

Thank you for helping us keep ARHA hockey safe.